FREE WEIGHTS WORKOUT PROGRAM

A free weights workout program is a great way to improve strength and overall conditioning.

It was almost thirty years ago when I decided I was going to try and get on the fire department and went out and bought a set of weights for my basement. That was how my first ever free weights exercise program originally got started.

Of course I had no clue how to benefit the most from weight training or how to even get started, but it just so happened that I had bought a set of “Weider Weights”.

It was the old-fashioned vinyl style of plates. I think they were filled with sand or something, but you seldom see them anymore.

Anyway, they had a copy of a free weights training program included in with the weights. So just like that I had a program to follow.

Joe Weider-founder of Mr. Olympia


It was pretty cool because Weider was the best in the world at weight training long before all the designer drugs appeared on the market. So he was the “real deal”.

I followed all his suggestions and workout sets to a “T”. They were not complicated at all.

However I did require a weight bench for the bench press and quad extensions etc. and the bar-holder did double-duty as a squat bar holder as well.

It worked okay because the most I was ever going to squat was 150 pounds because that’s all the weights I had bought.

For heavier squats exercises a proper squat rack is an important accessory.

The workouts consisted of bicep curls, upright rowing, behind the neck curls,bench press, squats, quad extensions, hamstring curls, and several other basic exercises.

It’s not so much the exact exercises that were the most important factor, it was the method that was important.

York Vinyl weights


It was a slow build-up of 8 or 10 reps of three sets of each exercise with an amount of weight that was just enough to stress the muscles as the third set was near completion.

Once the three sets can be done easily, the weight was increased and over time I it was amazing how this free weights training program made me stronger.

I believe the squats were a key component of this free weights workout program. Even with a maximum of only 150 pounds to use, I had amazing results.

One thing Weider had me do according to his training program was lay on my back on the weight bench right after a squat set, and using just an empty bar and keeping my arms straight, I lowered it slowly behind my head until I could feel the stress across my chest.

The idea was to take deep, deep breaths in while lowering the bar and letting the air out while bringing the bar back. I repeated this 8 times.

Doing this will expanded your chest, and will also help low your heart rate because it will be elevated from the squat exercise.

Weider’s program also included drinking one quart of whole milk with every single workout. It was the only time I have ever heard of anyone suggesting this and I’ve read lots of books and had lots of coaches.

One quart of whole milk with every workout for building muscle.


The results were pretty astounding. After about 3 months I could not wear medium anything anymore and all my shirts and jackets etc. had to be large.

After over 30 years of endurance events complimented by different forms of weight training, I still believe that basic Weider program was the best free weights workout program I ever came across.

Find an old used book by Joe Weider somewhere. He knows his stuff and will get you started on your own successful free weights training program.

Keep in mind however that the program I was on at the time was meant to gain weight and muscle mass.

The same exercises I used back then are perfect for runners, swimmers, and triathletes but the main difference would be to do more reps with a smaller amount of weight.

For example, if you can just manage 3 sets of 6 or 8 repetitions of an exercise using 50 pounds, do 3 sets and 12-15 repetitions of the same exercise using 30 pounds.

This will prevent large bulky muscles and instead will increase overall strength, flexibility and endurance which should be the goal for endurance athletes.

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